Psellos
Contemporary Development With Functional Programming

The Schnapsen Log

September 19, 2020

Know Your Opponent (solution)

Martin Tompa

Concealed cards:
AQ
A
♣ TQJ

Your cards:
KJ
K
♣ AK

Trump: Q
Stock: Closed, 1 face-down card
Game points: Tibor 7, You 7
Trick points: Tibor 28, You 24
On lead: Tibor

What cards must Tibor surely be holding that prompted him to close the stock? He must have A, A, and ♣T with a small club. If he were missing any of these cards, he would have no chance of getting from his current 28 trick points up to 66. The next question is how he plans on winning his ♣T. The only possibility is an elimination play. He will cash A to eliminate your K and then throw you in.

With what card will you get thrown in? The only possibility is your K. That card is your Achilles heel, the card thet will let Tibor wound you. When Tibor next leads A, if you are asleep and make the mechanical discard of J, Tibor will be on lead from this position:

Tibor: (56 points)
Q

♣ TQ

You: (24 points)
K

♣ AK

Tibor will now throw you in by leading Q and you will be coerced to open up the club suit. You can cash your ♣A, but eventually you will have to let Tibor win his ♣T and reach 70 trick points.

You surely see by now what you have to do. When Tibor leads A, you must make the unblocking play of discarding K rather than J. This leaves Tibor on lead from this position:

Tibor: (58 points)
Q

♣ TQ

You: (24 points)
J

♣ AK

This unblocking play foils Tibor’s throw-in. He can cash Q to reach 63 trick points, but after that he is the one who has to open up the club suit, and you win the last two tricks and the deal.

© 2020 Martin Tompa. All rights reserved.


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About the Author

Martin Tompa

Martin Tompa (tompa@psellos.com)

I am a Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, where I teach discrete mathematics, probability and statistics, design and analysis of algorithms, and other related courses. I have always loved playing games. Games are great tools for learning to think logically and are a wonderful component of happy family or social life.

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Know Your Opponent, Sep 19
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Grab the Brass Ring, Jul 3
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